Being a family caregiver can be a difficult but rewarding experience. If you have just begun to care for a senior loved one with dementia, the experience can be even more challenging. However, here are some tips to help make your caregiving duties easier.
1. Ask Simple Questions
Do not overload your loved one with questions. You will need to ask one question at a time, which should be answerable with a simple yes or no. It is a good idea to ask questions using visual prompts and cues since they can help your loved one answer questions clearly. It may also reduce irritation and confusion for your loved one and for you.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Portland Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
2. Maintain a Positive Attitude
Seniors with dementia rely on a caregiver’s body language and attitude for communication. Therefore, you should be positive and speak to your loved one in a respectful tone at all times. When your loved one has moments of confusion, do not get upset. Remember this is not your loved one’s fault. Be as positive and affectionate as you possibly can.
3. Go Down Memory Lane
Most seniors with dementia have difficulty remembering something they did an hour ago, but it may be easier for them to remember good memories from their younger years. Consider reminiscing about the good times from the past with your loved one, since it is a soothing and affirming activity he or she will likely enjoy. This is why you should avoid asking your loved one questions that require short-term memory. Asking general questions about the distant past is a better choice.
4. Break Down Activities
Some seniors with dementia may become confused and irritated when participating in certain everyday activities. However, if you break the activities up into different parts and sections, the task will be easier to manage. Encourage your loved one to complete the things he or she knows, and offer assistance when doing the activities and steps he or she tends to forget.
A professional respite or live-in caregiver can assist your loved one with a variety of daily activities. For many seniors in Portland, ME, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.
5. Be Reassuring
The way you respond to your loved one may ease a situation. For example, if your loved one forgets a person, place, or situation, do not scold him or her. Instead, be reassuring and affectionate. This approach may help your loved one feel less agitated, confused, and unsure. You should always respond to your loved one with reassurance, comfort, and support.
6. Accept Help
Remember you cannot do everything alone and there will be times when you need a break. Taking time for yourself to relax and rest can prevent caregiver burnout. By accepting help, you are ensuring your loved one has the best care at all times, and you will give yourself time to recharge.
Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Portland respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (207) 835-4849 to schedule a free in-home consultation.